Iowa State University Workshop Engages Instructors to Teach about Energy and Agriculture

August 7th, 2015

AMES, Iowa –Teachers from across the U.S. learned about agriculture and renewable energy in a workshop at Iowa State University on July 7-10.

“The production and use of energy is one of the most rapidly changing areas of technology, and it can be difficult to stay abreast on the latest research,” said Thomas Paulsen, workshop coordinator and assistant professor of agricultural education and studies. “This professional development workshop capitalized on experiences from Iowa State University researchers, industry leaders and educational experts to provide teachers with tangible activities to immediately integrate into the classroom.”

Nineteen junior high, high school and community college instructors took part in the third Agriculture-based Renewable Energy Professional Development Workshop. The workshop was co-sponsored by Iowa State University, Eastern Iowa Community College District and the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant.

Workshop participants completed a number of hands-on activities such as making biodiesel and building wind turbines, mini-biogas digesters and a solar photovoltaic pump. They visited a local wind energy generating station and toured biofuels research facilities at Iowa State University.

“Teachers want to stay informed of current applications of renewable and bioenergy. Participants in the workshop gained the knowledge and skills needed to successfully implement this content into their classrooms,” Paulsen said.

More information about agriculture-based renewable energy and the workshop can be found at


Thomas Paulsen, Agricultural Education and Studies, 515-294-0047,

Bailey Miller, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Services, 515-294-4319,

Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-8892,